Tag Archives: blogging

Market Place Kitchen & Bar – Avon, CT

17 May

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a blogger event at Market Place Kitchen & Bar in Avon, CT. I hadn’t attended an event in a while due to being crazy busy (hence the slight delay on this post as well) so I jumped at the chance to try out this new restaurant.

Market Place Kitchen & Bar describes themselves as a “Modern American restaurant” and they also have locations in Woodbury and Danbury, CT as well as a location at Mount Snow in Vermont. They put their emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible which also allows Executive Chef Roy Kalil to be very creative with his dishes.

Marketplace 1

How pretty is that drink? Pictured: The Parisian cocktail and an Ahi Tuna Tartare Philo Cup

Marketplace 6

Executive Chef Roy provided some great info about the goals of Market Place as a restaurant

We enjoyed several of those creative dishes throughout the event, including croquettes, philo cups, deviled eggs, and watermelon kabobs. I will let the photos speak for themselves as everything was incredibly delicious and I really can’t even put into words how fresh each dish was. If I had a choose a favorite, I would say the smoked salmon deviled eggs, but are you really surprised by that?

marketplace 2

Ahi Tuna Tartare Philo Cups

Marketplace 4

Watermelon Kabobs with goat feta cheese and fresh mint

Marketplace 5

Smoked salmon deviled eggs

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Wild Mushroom Risotto Croquettes

In addition to the food we tasted, we were also provided with three different cocktails to try. Each drink was so unique but my favorite was the frozen Moscow mule which was incidentally my first ever Moscow mule. It was refreshing and so smooth and would be perfect on a sweltering day like today.

Marketplace 7

New Age Margarita with salt foam which is my new favorite thing in the world 😉

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Frozen Moscow Mule.. I could really go for one of these right now

We also had the pleasure of enjoying a mixology demonstration by one of the bartenders which was so much fun. They clearly take great pride in their cocktails and that was evident by the amount of effort that went into each drink that she prepared.

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Working her magic!

 

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MP Manhattan – looks so tasty!

The atmosphere and decor at Market Place is absolute perfection. I was in love with the wall of wine bottles and the beautiful wood that was used throughout the restaurant.

Marketplace 3

I want this in my house. 

Dan and I both walked out of the event exclaiming that we cannot wait to return. The vibe is new and fresh with food that is unique and delicious.

Note: All food and drinks were provided at no cost. As always, all opinions are my own.

WIAW: NIXS Evergreen

3 Feb

Happy hump day! I am feeling so great this week and still coming off of a fabulous weekend that I can’t stop thinking about. I’m here to tell you all about the incredible blogger event that I attended at NIXS Evergreen in South Windsor.

NIXS Evergreen is a funky, hip, and new-to-South Windsor restaurant which focuses on unique and seasonal food items along with craft cocktails. As soon as I had heard that NIXS was coming to Evergreen Walk (they have a Hartford location also), I was more than excited to try it out. Bonnie from Home Place Blog reached out to me and invited me to attend a blogger event hosted by head chef, Sean DeLaRosa.

We chatted for quite a while before we finally decided to order some cocktails. I enjoyed the Moscow Mistress, which I have previously had at their grand opening event, and it was just as tasty as I remembered. I usually don’t enjoy too much of a ginger flavor but this drink was so refreshing!

NIXS cocktail

Bonnie ordered a couple of cheese plates for the table as well as some wings for us to try to get us started. As you all know, cheese is my favorite thing in the world so I was in heaven. I didn’t get to try any of the wings but I definitely ate my weight in cheese.

NIXS cheese

NIXS wings

Once we had devoured the cheese and wings, we each chose an item to order off of the “shareables” portion of the menu. I went with the Naked Spicy Tuna which was tuna tartare, avocado, and cucumber all tossed in spicy mayo and placed on top of rice. I had such a hankering for sushi and this hit the spot. It was just the right amount of spicy so that I was still able to enjoy the incredible and fresh flavor of the tuna.

NIXS tuna

Some of us ordered the same items while others went for others, such as the mac and cheese, sliders, and the lobster tater tots (yes I said lobster tater tots!). As soon as we were all done taking our pictures (#bloggerlife), the table got pretty silent as everyone was clearly enjoying their food to the fullest.

NIXS blogger event

After we finished our meals, our lovely waitress brought out one of each item that was on the dessert menu for us to share. I can only say that the s’mores were out of this world and I will be ordering them again very soon. Obviously I didn’t get a picture of the s’mores because I was too busy devouring them but I did get a picture of the ice cream sandwiches and the Zeppoles.

NIXS ice cream sandwiches

NIXS donuts

NIXS ron

Ron was very proudly displaying those Zeppoles 🙂

This event was one of the best yet and I highly recommend heading to NIXS Evergreen for lunch or dinner or even just drinks and appetizers (and those s’mores for dessert). I want to extend a big thank you to Bonnie for inviting me and I also want to say that it was truly wonderful to spend an afternoon with some of the best bloggers out there.

A Taste of A’Vert Brasserie

20 Nov

Happy Friday once again! It seems like the weeks are just flying by and I cannot believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away! I am thoroughly enjoying the start of all of the holiday festivities. This past Monday evening, Dan and I attended a fabulous blogger event at A’Vert Brasserie in West Hartford. It was hosted by the lovely Kat and Head Chef, David Borselle. We sampled a large variety of menu items as well as cocktails and wine and it was just a nice, relaxing evening with great people!

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He was such a nice guy and his food was incredible!

The selection of cheeses and accompaniments which kicked off the evening were right up my alley, as cheese is pretty much my spirit animal.

Avert Cheese plate

These Petite Duck Confit sandwiches with spicy aioli were one of my favorites and I couldn’t get over how well that spicy aioli complemented the flavor of the duck.

Avert duck sandwich

We also had Seared Foie Gras on top of diced green apple, croutons, and aged-balsamic vinegar. This was my first experience with Foie Gras and I really enjoyed it as it had a very unique flavor.

Avert Foie Gras

The toasted baguette topped with baked goat cheese, tomato and basil was wonderful and I will definitely be attempting to recreate this dish at home!

Avert goat cheese

Dan’s favorite of the evening was definitely the Beef Short-Rib sandwich which was dressed with cheddar cheese and pickled vegetables. I would agree that this sandwich had such a variety of flavors from the hearty meat to the tang of the pickled vegetables.

avert beef sandwich

My favorite overall dessert were the macaroons, made in-house by their pastry chef. I would love to try more flavors of these as I have only had macaroons a few times.

avert macaroons

The staff was so kind and welcoming and we were able to take a little peek into the kitchen to see the inner workings.

Avert kitchen

The entire event was excellent and we cannot wait to return to A’Vert to try more wines and many more dishes off of their extensive happy hour menu. I highly recommend you visit this wonderful restaurant as you will not be disappointed!

Rooftop120 Blogger Event

3 Apr

Happy Friday everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t had time to write this week but Dan’s grandfather passed away on Monday and I honestly just didn’t feel like writing. It was much more important for me to be there for him during this awful time. I am back today and I am very excited to tell you guys about a wonderful event that I attended last night at the always-fabulous Rooftop120. It was their very first Blogger Event and I was delighted that I was able to attend.

As I walked into the lounge area, I was immediately greeted by this beautiful sight. I do have to say that I love the look of their lounge area just as much as the bar and it seems like a wonderful place to comfortably hang out with friends in a much quieter environment than the bar.

It was a perfect evening to spend up there.

It was a perfect evening to spend up there.

I do have to say that everyone that spoke to us including our waitress, B, was so nice and always making sure we were having a great time. I also had a nice chat with the owner who told me quite a great deal about the overall vision that they have for Rooftop120 and mainly about how they would like people to see it not just as a bar, but also as a delicious restaurant as well. I think his ideas are great and with the resourceful marketing team he has, those ideas will definitely take off.

It was a nice, little touch to have fruit offered to put in the prosecco

It was a nice, little touch to have fruit offered to put in the prosecco

They provided us with a nice little rundown of the evening including a menu of the dishes we would be tasting later. Everything we experienced throughout the night had a feel like there was quite a bit of thought put into it which was really special.

Once everyone had arrived, we headed into the dining room for the presentation by the Google certified speaker from 203 Marketing, George. I liked how his presentation was brief but very informative, especially for someone such as myself who has a lot of big plans for this blog but needed some guidance on a lot of those ideas. My biggest takeaway from his information was that it is very important to make sure all of the links and social media names match up so there is no confusion. This makes me think that it is important to create separate social media accounts for my blog so that I can really get a better feel for who I’m trying to market to, so stay tuned!.

I just can't get over how beautifully decorated the lounge was

I just can’t get over how beautifully decorated the lounge was

It was a small group that attended but I think that was beneficial because it wasn’t too crowded and there was a good amount of food for everyone. I finally had the chance to meet the adorable Kat from Penelope, Prosecco, and Pulitzer and she was just as fabulous as I had imagined. I also met Alycia from CT Eats Out, Wendy from CT Lifestyles, and Julie-Ann from JuliEdible. It was great to finally meet the people whose blogs I have been reading forever and one whose Instagram account makes me want to ditch my wedding diet and go on a food binge (ahem, Alycia!).

Let’s get on to the amazing food! On a side note, it was great to be in a room where everyone was taking pictures of the food and it wasn’t just me for once 🙂 We started out with the Jerked Spice Tuna which was topped with tropical fruit salsa and accompanied by fried plantains. This tuna was so tasty and the flavors were incredible. It wasn’t something that I would ordinarily order for myself but now I know that those flavors are so good that it will help me to branch out my ordering options.

This dish made me think of summer.

This dish made me think of summer.

Next up was the Aji Chili Rubbed Steak, which was on top of a piece of grilled zucchini. This steak was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and I could have eaten that all night. The sauce on top was unreal and I wanted to put that on top of everything.

The presentation of the food was also superb.

The presentation of the food was also superb.

The next item was most definitely my second favorite of the evening. The Red Beet and Goat Cheese Bon Bons were entirely up my alley and I absolutely love how the two flavors complemented each other. The bon bons were on top of a shaved fennel orange salad which went well with the stronger flavors of the beets and goat cheese. I think these would be a great addition to their regular menu.

This is making my stomach growl.

This is making my stomach growl.

My absolute favorite item of the evening (and I think a lot of the other attendees agreed with me) was the Soy Ginger-Marinated Avocado Halves which were filled with a tempura fried oyster and topped with a yuzu harissa aioli. The creamy avocado combined with the equally creamy oyster was mind-blowing. At this point, I believe I said that their head chef Dan was a complete genius. I would have never thought to put an avocado in a dish with an oyster but it was one of the best ideas ever.

Absolute perfection, I swear.

Absolute perfection, I swear.

Last but not least, we were able to sample one of my favorite bartender Tyler’s amazing martinis. I believe it was called 50 Shades of Glastonbury if I remember correctly. It was sweet and smooth and I tasted a lot of pineapple which again reminded me of summer 🙂 It was a perfect end to a wonderful event.

It was like a tropical dessert in a glass

It was like a tropical dessert in a glass

I hope that Rooftop120 has more of these types of events as I think it can only help to open patron’s eyes to the fact that it isn’t just a fun bar, but a fabulous restaurant as well.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Passover/Easter weekend!